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March 19, 2013
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria condemns in the strongest possible terms the chemical weapons attack in Aleppo and calls on the international community to act to prevent further use of chemical weapons in Syria. According to Aleppo University Hospital dozens of people were affected by this attack and are experiencing symptoms including asphyxiation, bronchospasm, hypotension, Dyspnoea, Pinpoint pupil, and pulmonary edema. One hospital confirmed 54 cases, mostly women and children; 14 cases were pronounced dead on arrival, and one doctor helping the victims has died of the same symptoms.
Members of Congress and policy leaders from both parties have come out in support of bolder action to promote peace and regime transition in Syria, including Senators Carl Levin, Bob Casey, Marco Rubio, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham, and Representatives Mike Rogers and Eliot Engel. Some Members have expressed concern that the "red line" of chemical weapon use has been crossed in Syria, and that more assertive US action is needed to contain the dangerous threat that these weapons pose to the Syrian people.
“It is imperative that we identify the chemical agent being utilized by the Assad regime in order to aid the women and children wounded and experiencing these symptoms. Witnesses describe women and children choking in the streets and a strong smell of chlorine. If the United States and the international community will not prevent the use of chemical weapons, they must provide the Syrian people with the means necessary to protect themselves from chemical and other attacks by the Assad regime,” said Dr. Saud Attrach of Association of Free Syrians, a Coalition for a Democratic Syria member organization.
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria is a group of Syrian-American non-profit organizations working together to bring about a swift end to the conflict and support the establishment of peace, freedom, and democracy in Syria. The CDS is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, non-partisan organization. The CDS includes: Syrian Emergency Task Force, Syrian American Council, United for Free Syria, Syrian American Alliance, Syrian Expatriates Organization, Syrian Christians for Democracy, and Association of Free Syrians.